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1. Make sure you have only one EndNote Library (ENL)

When you create an EndNote Library (ENL), the default is to call it 'My EndNote Library'.  You can keep this name or rename it.  The important thing is to only have one EndNote Library.  When your insert your references into your Word document, the EndNote toolbar in Word 'talks' to your EndNote Library.  You need to make sure that it is only talking to one ENL.  If you need to organise your references, do this within your ENL using groups (see How to organise your EndNote Library).

2. Where to save your Library

You should always save your active EndNote Library to your local directory and NOT to cloud storage e.g. your OneDrive.  See:

There have been instances of EndNote Library corruption/loss of data when EndNote libraries are saved to OneDrive/cloud storage.

If you need to use your EndNote Library on more than one device or share your references/library with colleagues/friends, then you can do this by syncing with EndNote 21 (online): See:

We recommend EndNote 21 (desktop) is your 'main' library and the online version is used for syncing, for sharing references/libraries, to use on a tablet or as a backup library.

3. How to get references and PDFs into your Library

The main ways to get references into your EndNote library are:

  • Exporting the bibliographic details from a databases (e.g. Discovery, Scopus, Web of Science etc).  Look out for the EndNote or RIS export option
  • Importing, drag and drop or use EndNote Click for PDF files (which will work if the text is OCR)
    • PDFs can also be added to existing records
  • Typing or copy/pasting the bibliographic details in (if the above two methods are not  applicable e.g. a website)
    • There is also a bookmarklet you can use for websites, but it often has missing details

For instructions on how to get references in to your library, see:

(4.0 Getting references, PDFs and files into your EndNote Library)

4. Check your references

Regardless of how you get your references into your EndNote Library, it is important that you check your references in your library.  Look out for:

  • spelling mistakes, bibliographic details in the wrong field, transposed names, unwanted abbreviations, missing details etc

Any mistakes in EndNote will mean a mistake in your Word document.  If you do notice a mistake, make the edit the record in your EndNote Library.

5. How to organise your EndNote Library

Remember, you should only have one ENL.  In order to manage your references, you can organise them into 'groups' and 'group sets'.  You can do this manually, or set up criteria for EndNote to do it automatically.  See:

(5.0 Managing your EndNote Library)


*New* for EndNote 21, you can also use the 'tagging' feature:

  • Tags are customisable labels that let you organize your references however you'd like.
  • You can add tags to references and customise the colour and name of the tags. 
  • You can add multiple tags to a reference and anyone who you share your library with can view a tag, making tags a great way to quickly and intuitively organise your references.

6. Deduplicate

Remember the EndNote toolbar in Word is 'talking' to your ENL.  If you are inserting the same reference/citation more than once, you need to make sure that you are telling Word to insert the same reference from your ENL, not a different record with the same bibliographic details.  If you do insert different records Word will think these are different references and start adding alphabetic characters to differentiate them e.g. (Kelly, 2024a) (Kelly, 2024b) etc.

To make sure it doesn't do this, you need to deduplicate your ENL regularly.  See:

(5.4 Deleting duplicate records)

Where can I get help using EndNote 21?

For installation help, contact the IT HelpDesk.

For help setting up and using EndNote, see our Training Materials section, or you may prefer to sign up to one of our EndNote classes, which we deliver regularly throughout the year as part of the Skills Hub programme. 

If you have a specific question, or if wish to arrange a class for a group of staff/students, please contact your Academic Librarian.